Mueller was a perfect fit for Texas Mutual’s new headquarters, offering a variety of amenities including 40-plus diverse eateries, several retailers, active parks and multiple home options for those eager to lessen their commute – many of which are in walking distance.
The 4-story, 270,000 square-foot office building will aid in consolidating 600 Texas Mutual employees into one location and accommodate for future growth. As Texas Mutual continues to grow, the demographic of their employees is also changing; evolving into a multi-generational work culture. The new design focuses on the ‘live, work, play’ model, responding to Texas Mutual’s mission in hiring new talent, but most importantly retaining it. The building will also feature 20,000 s.f. of ground floor retail, a daycare facility for Texas Mutual employees and a rooftop terrace courtyard with views overlooking downtown Austin.
The project is set to complete in late November of 2018.
See project renderings and entire design team here.
Here are some little tidbits we thought you might find interesting about our newest colleagues. Enjoy!
Efrain Vergara is an Architectural Designer at our San Antonio office. He received his Bachelors in Architecture from UTSA and his Masters from the University of Oregon a few years back. Efrain is interested in adaptive reuse projects and has extensive experience in hospitality design. When Efrain isn’t at work, he is either traveling to his hometown of Chicago or cycling in Southtown at the Blue Star trail head. Efrain has even participated in a Century Ride where he biked for 100 miles in less than 12 hours.
Jingqi Li is an Architectural Designer at our Austin office. She majored in Industrial Design during her undergraduate studies in China and recently received her Master’s in Architecture from UTSA. Jingqi’s favorite part of the architectural process is programming because she feels this is where the concept is born. She is currently reading ‘The Story of Art’ in hopes to find a way to overlap industrial design, architecture and art. Off work, Jingqi is either eating at Sichuan River, her favorite Chinese restaurant or sweating out the toxins at Modo Yoga in Austin.
Ronnie Marquez is a Designer at our Austin office. Ronnie studied Interior Design at UT and will be graduating this summer. His favorite part of the design process is spatial problem solving because he finds it to be one big puzzle he gets to put together. Ronnie is also invested in caring for the environment and is interested in applying more sustainable approaches to design. Ronnie was even a Vegan for a year but broke it with a #2 combo from Chick-fil-A. Outside of work, Ronnie volunteers with his church in helping the community and has been on two mission trips; one to Indonesia and one to India.
Kelly McEachern, is a Senior Interior Designer at our Austin office. After graduating from UTSA, Kelly began her career in Houston where she developed a niche focused on Workplace Strategy and Change Management. After a few years in the field, Kelly also discovered that in addition to designing, she really enjoyed managing and mentoring her colleagues, helping them reach their full potential. Outside of work, Kelly loves to hike or camp with her son. Since 2010, she and her son have made a tradition of traveling to Rwanda, Africa withAfrica New Life Ministries to help support the children and local villages of Rwanda.
Xuhua Cheng is an Architectural Designer at our Austin office. She moved from China to the States six years ago and recently received her Master’s in Architecture from UTSA. When she was living in China, Xuhua received her licensure as an architect and urban planner. She is fascinated by Fractal theory and enjoys discovering how self-similar patterns are organized across different scales. Xuhua also really enjoys hand crafted model making, using any materials she can get her hands on. When Xuhua isn’t at work, she is most likely hanging out with her son at the Brushy Creek Greenbelt or practicing charcoal drawing.
Madison Towns is the new Design Intern for our San Antonio office. She is currently in her second year of architecture school at UTSA and plans on walking the stage in May of 2018. In addition to studying architecture, she is also working on obtaining a minor in business. Outside of work, Madison loves to travel, paint and even started her own photography business last summer. Find her at Guadalupe Park when the weather is nice with her Cannon 6D.
We are honored to have accepted two Excellence Design Awards from this years’ IIDA Texas/Oklahoma Inspire 16 Gala. Both of the winning projects were completed this year by Architects and Designers, Milton Hime, Jennifer Carter, Megan Moshier, Chelsea Livingston and Lee Ann McClanahan.
Designers were asked what made this project important, impactful and unique. Below are their responses:
Designing a new facility for our longtime client and friends at People’s Community Clinic was an exercise of imagining something better for themselves and for their patients, moving past a ‘make do’ attitude caused by their cramped, existing footprint. It’s new location in East Austin eased accessibility to more patients due to its closer proximity to the medically underserved. Most importantly, the new design needed to be approachable and familiar, helping foster personal connections between the care team and patients, making it a more dignified experience.
What made Prairie View A&M an important project is that the building acts as a catalyst for fostering more universal thought by merging two colleges with separate identities. In addition, the new design propels the college into the future through the modern use of traditional materials and the fresh approach to student learning and interaction. It’s impactful because of the buildings central location on the campus, touching the lives of more students. Lastly, it is unique because the building was designed holistically, blending the interior and exterior experience.
This year, Studio8 took on the American Heart Association’s Executive Challenge, raising over $15,000 in lifesaving dollars for the 2016 Austin Heart Walk. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, providing innovative research, stronger health policies and the tools needed to save and improve lives. Learn more about their mission here.
Ochos enjoyed coming up with creative ways to fundraise including the Studio8 poker night and having product reps donate money in lieu of providing lunch at all the Lunch and Learns.
Congratulations to our Top Walkers, Jonathan Pearson and Milton Hime, personally raising over a $1,000 each.
Located in Austin, Texas, the Riata Vista project is a master-planned, mixed-use corporate campus for a global high-tech corporation. The multi-phase, LEED-Gold assignment was completed on a design-build basis by Cadence McShane Construction Company and Studio8 Architects (Team).
The 38.18-acre campus includes six four-story corporate office buildings totaling 978,265 square feet, a fully-equipped café and conference center at 156,862 square feet, a 10,260 square foot central utility plant and three multi-story structured parking garages totaling 1,636,558 square feet that accommodate 4,959 vehicles.
The Owner’s overall vision for the project focused on creating employee-centric spaces within an environmentally-forward setting. To meet these goals and provide cost-effective solutions, the Team worked closely with the client through regular communication, 3D animation/BIM Modeling and mock-ups to ensure that all specialized interior and exterior areas met their requirements.
Each office building incorporates carefully-configured spaces to serve employees in a variety of functions. For example, Building 4 includes a Wellness Center complete with general doctor exam rooms, physical therapy rooms, a vision exam room with glasses dispensary, dental center and pharmacy, among others. There is also a state-of-the-art Fitness Center featuring aerobic and weight training equipment and two studios for group classes with integrated on-demand digital training capabilities utilizing a touchscreen interface and drop-down screens.
Another popular employee amenity area is found in the two-story café within Building 5. Considered the “central jewel” for the entire campus, the café serves a multitude of cuisines and acts as a common gathering area with generous indoor and outdoor seating. Building 5 also houses a learning lab where employees can become educated about and test new products.
In addition to interior specialized spaces, the campus offers an abundance of outdoor areas for employees such as flagstone walkways surrounded by Zen fountains, meandering jogging trails with shade trees, vistas with pavilions and a grand center lawn.
Through years of partnership with Milton and the Studio8 team, the dream to expand People’s Community Clinic to a larger, more accessible space has been fulfilled. The 59,000 sq.ft. facility located at 1101 Camino La Costa offers more programs and services in support of their patient-centered care model, including a classroom for prenatal group visits and nutritious cooking classes in their modern Teaching Kitchen.
Every Studio8 decision was geared towards assisting the community; ensuring accessible travel options, exam room size, comfortable and welcoming waiting rooms, and easy to navigate signage throughout the facility. The size and amenities of the new clinic has increased patient accessibility and doubled the number of patients PCC can serve from 10,000 to 20,000 annually.
It brings us great pride to announce we are the first firm in Texas to receive the International Living Future Institute’s™ JUST™ label, leading our industry and community into a new era of corporate transparency.
The JUST™ program provides organizations with a ‘nutrition label’, if you will, revealing their practices and values on employee well-being and benefits, equity & diversity, operations and community investments.
Companies are measured in the following six categories and can earn as high as a three-star level rating:
These six broad categories include a variety of sub categories ranging from Worker Happiness to Responsible Investing . Here are a few highlights from our label.
Worker Happiness: Score 3/3
We are committed to creating, maintaining, and supporting a positive work environment that is conducive to and fosters worker happiness and job satisfaction. We are concerned about our employees and their families and we strive to create an appropriate work-life balance and provide workplaces where our employees are happy.
Transparency: Score 3/3
We are committed to being ethically transparent in all aspects of our operation. We support a voluntary, full disclosure policy and provide ongoing open access and communication to internal and external audiences on important organizational information. This information includes our purpose, goals, governance structure, environmental impacts, ingredients used in manufacturing and our involvement in social, political and environmental causes.
Charitable Giving: Score 3/3
We have a policy to participate in charitable giving to worthy causes within the communities where we are located. Specifically, Studio8 commits to donating a minimum of 3% of its before-tax profits to registered charitable or not-for-profit organizations on an annual basis.
Gender Pay Equity: Score 2/3
Studio8 strives for gender pay scale equity, and our goal is to eliminate systemic bias and discrimination that relates to the under-valuation of work traditionally performed by women and to ensure that women are treated on the same basis with men in terms of compensation for the work they perform. All employees performing the same or similar work or work of equal value will be compensated on the same pay scale.
“In a relatively short time-frame since program launch, the JUST™ Program has garnered worldwide interest and is helping organizations to develop better employee engagement policies and community stewardship practices. The Institute is pleased to announce that Studio8 Architects has now joined the rank of JUST™ Labelled organizations with the distinction of being the first design firm in the State of Texas to earn the JUST™ Label said Francis Janes, JUST™ Program Manager of International Living Future Institute.
See what other organizations are joining the movement to creating a more equitable society, here.
Centro SA partnered with the Rivard Report, Overland Partners and the Pearl to launch a competition open to everyone in the San Antonio community to transform the street of Broadway and its environs.
Studio8 couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in a design that could impact our community and build on the momentum for change. Designers Richard Garrod, Megan Moshier, Anna Delisle, Stephanie Briseño, Ryan Squyres and Miles Vandewalle rose to the challenge. The design team focused on reinventing the underpass at the US-281 and I-35 interchange. Recognizing the evolution along Broadway, the design established a strong urban core that would support the future needs and traditions of the San Antonio community.
From the 92 entries submitted, there were six design finalists and one People’s Choice prize which was voted on by the ceremony attendees.
See our entire design, here.
Read more about the competition and event, here.
Studio8 has partnered with LakeIFlato Architects in designing a three-story, mixed use building with two floors of office space and restaurant and retail space on the ground floor. The building offers a beautiful view of Downtown Austin and overlooks 140 acres of open space dedicated to public parks, greenbelts, trails and plazas. The Diamond Building is located at the heart of Mueller’s Aldrich Street District, providing multiple amenities, including an Alamo Drafthouse, hotel, restaurants and entertainment.
Check out all the new shops coming to the Aldrich Street District, here.
This year, we were honored to take home the ‘Best Website’ award from the annual SMPS awards. Other awards included best Brochure, Holiday Piece, Newsletter, Special Event and Social Media. We couldn’t give an acceptance speech, but we are so thankful to FÖDA Studio for all their hard work and creativity designing our new identity; a brand truly reflective of our talent as a firm.
See more photos from the event on the SMPS- Austin website
The teams were given a prompt and only had a few hours to prepare a 10 minute presentation to be judged by a panel. Olga was a judge on the panel and Jennifer was an expert design professional, assisting the teams during their preparation for the presentation.
Olga’s thoughts on the day—
“I think it is important for girls to expand their knowledge of possible careers and to see women in those careers. Even though it just barely scratches the surface of what is involved in each career, simply knowing they have more options is encouraging and inspiring for girls. I wish I had something like this in school. The girls at Ann Richard School are an impressive group and present themselves with more maturity and confidence than the typical 9th grader.
To see more images from the event, visit our Facebook.
Olga’s take on the Austin Heart Walk—
The employees of Studio8 are active, healthy individuals. By supporting the Heart Walk, we are encouraging the idea that healthy employees make for happier teams, more creative ideas, and better projects. We believe the same is true for our friends, family, and colleagues. While the financial aspect of the Heart Walk is a huge part of our involvement, our role as a local sponsor and running the Pet Zone speaks to our desire to be out in the community and actively participate in it.
For the third year in a row, Studio8 participates in AIA’s Architecture in School Program. We look forward to this yearly opportunity to engage with our community and be inspired by the awesome creativity of the students.
Over the course of an eight year relationship, we master-planned several scenarios; each evolving with the needs of both the Archives and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS). That relationship has recently culminated with the Trinity Block Development Package. The package will help the DFMS find a suitable partner to develop the last privately owned empty downtown Austin block. The project is anchored by the archives building (67,000 sf) and includes office(210,000sf), retail (42,000 sf) and residential components (317,000 sf).
Generous Art produces and curates shows to benefit nonprofits and charities. Our client Blackbaud, provides nonprofit organizations software and services for fundraising. Giving back to the community is important to us and we’re happy to have to opportunity to support this event.
On April 6th, Milton Hime was honored as People’s Community Clinic’s 2015 W. Neal Kocurek Healthcare Advocacy Award recipient. This award is given annually to a community leader who demonstrates exceptional advocacy in the interest of equitable health care. See more photos on our Facebook.
The new headquarters was formerly home of the Texas Real Estate Commission and was purchased last fall. It will be gutted and renovated, with architecture services from Studio8 Architects and the Office of Local Architecture, with contracting work overseen by Zapalac/Reed Construction Company. See the article in the Austin Business Journal.